Audio Review: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Audio Review: Outlander by Diana GabaldonOutlander by Diana Gabaldon

Series: #1 Outlander
Genres: Historical Romance
on July 13, 2006
Length: 33 hours, 8 minutes
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five-stars  

I have not really explored the world of audio books before, but a few things made me terribly eager for Outlander, a book that is in my top ten all time favorites, to be the book that changed that status for me. As a result of being an audio book newbie, I’m not even sure what are the salient points to bring out so I’ll just wing it.

First of all, this was an unabridged version so I got over 33 hours of delicious Outlander missing nothing from the paper version.

For those not in the know, Outlander is probably the quintessential Time Travel Romance. It’s the yardstick by which most other Time Travel Romances and even Highlander Romance along with some Historical Fiction epics are compared. It offers a bit of everything which probably explains its wide appeal. Outlander is the story of Claire Randall, a former WWII combat nurse and wife, joining her husband, Frank after the war on a reunion honeymoon in Scotland. Frank is interested in his genealogy and history so Claire interests herself in medicinal herbs. It is while gathering a plant for study that Claire goes through a passage in time that is part of a circle of standing stones to end up in 1740s Scotland. Her adventures lead her to danger, intrigue, romance, heartbreak and huge choices including the choice to stay in the past or go back through the stones to her old life.
The story itself is all that an epic story ought to be in my opinion and I can only praise it.

Now as to the features of the story in audio that I got through Audible.com, I was first struck by how easy it was to download it to my phone which I used as my listening device. Then I really appreciated the organization of the story into chapters and pages just like a paper or ecopy. I had no trouble pausing or leaving off in the story to go about other business. The sound quality was clear. It had a nice introduction and closing before a few end recommendations and excerpt from the next book.

I think my favorite aspect of the audio experience was Davina Porter, the reader. This woman is a phenom. First, her voice itself was pleasing and her pacing was so good. But her portrayal of the characters with their accents and emotions just blew me away. English, Scots, Gaelic, French, highborn, lowborn, bored, excitable, passionate, hating, didn’t matter; it was spot on. Outlander came alive from her lips and I saw my favorite passages brought to life leaving me almost in a state of awe. The listening experience also brought things out that hadn’t struck me before so I had a few new experiences with the story. I took my time and have listened to the story for nearly two months from start to finish. So worth it!

All in all, listening to Outlander, this unabridged Davina Porter version, is something that I would recommend to fans of the series and to those who want a book rich in history, romance, and adventure that will challenge all your senses.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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  • Melanie Simmons

    This is a series that I want to try. I’ve heard such great things, but it is so long I just don’t know when I will find time to fit it into my already packed schedule. Great review.

    • I get that, Melanie! Reading it is an amazing undertaking and listening to it as I went about my house chores and driving took me a long time, but I loved it so it was no hardship.

  • One day I will maybe give these a try. lol. I have the first 5 but for some reason just can’t get myself to start them. That’s so great you loved the audio of it. I’m working my way into audios now and have picked up a few. Would be nice when having to clean to be able to do something fun at the same time 😀

    • That was exactly what prompted me to try an audio. I was scrubbing windows and staining my mom’s deck so I needed something to occupy my mind back in August. My sister in law told me that I could get one free book from Audible to test drive it so Outlander is what I picked. I don’t know if I’m sold on audios in general yet, but I would totally listen to anything Davina Porter read.

  • I will have to check out that narrator!! I am big into audiobooks, and when I find a narrator, especially one that can handle accents and make the story really come alive…is huge!! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this one.

    • This was my first audio, but I’ve read other people talk about not liking a book b/c of the reader. This gal was outstanding with what I thought a challenging book. I was thrilled to see that she is the narrator for the whole series.

  • I started the book and didn’t finish it and it wasn’t that it was bad…i just never picked it back up again. But I loved Jaime’s character and I really digged the whole time travel aspect of the story 😉

    • Oh it is a total beast for certain. I think the Starz TV show will bring in more fans than ever because they do a good job of giving the story in their episodes without freaking people about the size of the story. I think this audio option is good to b/c people can go about their chores as they get the book. I even dragged my phone out to the vegetable garden while I was weeding and it made that chore go better.

      Jamie is a total dream. I love it when he says and does the most profound things about their romance through all the books.

      • Audiobooks are really convenient when you can’t have the actual book in your hand…so feel you on that 🙂

        Maybe I’ll try this as a audio…probably will help me pick it back up.

        • That would work or if you ever get a chance to watch the TV show. Not that you don’t already have plenty of stuff pulling on your time already, I’m sure. 😉

  • vvb reads

    I love this book and have been meaning to re-read it. As I don’t get Starz, I am soooo looking forward to when the DVDs are available. I listen to audio versions now and again and when you get a good narrator the story is enhanced triple-fold. I just started listening to The Miniaturist which Davina is narrating and it is a treat 🙂

    • It’s so weird. Usually, I love an author so want to read all his/her backlist, but in this case I want to listen to all the books she reads even if they’re by different authors. I’ll have to check out The Miniaturist.

      And, I don’t have Starz either so its DVDs for me too.